by Eddie Middlebrook
This is part two of a four-part series building a 25-man roster of the greatest Rangers would look like. The starting lineup has been set so this time we look at the bench. Keep in mind, we are only looking at the years with Washington/Texas (Senators/Rangers career numbers in parentheses):
Michael Young (2000-12, .301/.347/.444): Young wins the utility role on this ballclub over Toby Harrah. Young was Mr. Consistent in his 13 seasons with the Rangers. He leads many career offensive categories, and on this All-Time team, he provides a utility role as he can play any position in the infield. The fact that he is not in the starting lineup is not so much a knock on him, but shows how talented the Rangers franchise has been offensively over the last several decades. Young’s tenure included seven All-Star appearances and one Gold Glove. He currently sits 13th on the All-Time WAR list with 25.5 wins.
Jim Sundberg (1974-83, 1988-89 .252/.330/.345): Sundberg would be a solid choice as the franchise catcher for many other clubs, but very few franchises have a Pudge Rodriguez. On this team, he easily fills the role of backup catcher. Sundberg was known for his defense as he was the first catcher to win six AL Gold Gloves. In 1977, he threw out 56% of would-be base stealers. As a Ranger, he had two All-Star appearances, six Gold Gloves and finished in the top 15 of MVP voting on two occasions. His 34.7 wins rank fifth on the Rangers All-Time WAR list.
Buddy Bell (1979-85, 1989, .293/.351/.431): Until 2011, he was this franchise’s greatest third baseman and it wasn’t even close. Even today, he still should be mentioned in the same breath as Beltre. Bell collected six Gold Gloves as a Ranger and one Silver Slugger award. He ranks third on the All-Time WAR list with 36.2 wins.
Rusty Greer (1994-2002, .305/.387/.478): Greer is fifth in career batting average, fourth in on-base percentage and ninth in OPS. Though his career was cut short due to total disregard for his body, Greer is still 15th among Ranger greats with 22.3 wins. He’s the only position player on this team that never received an All-Star appearance, but he’s worthy all the same.
Now that you have seen the lineup and bench, who’s missing among position players? If you think someone else deserves a spot, please share who you would remove.
Eddie Middlebrook is a husband, father of three and saved by grace. Senior Writer for @ballparkbanter9. Formerly with @wfaasports, @shutdowninning and @FoxSportsSW.@IBWAA member. Eddie can be found on Twitter @emiddlebrook.